The Detroit Pistons are starting to pick up some steam as they aim to rejoin the race for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons will try to push their winning streak to four straight when they host the Washington Wizards on Monday.
Detroit bolstered its rotation by signing veteran shooting guard Wayne Ellington as a free agent after he cleared waivers on Saturday and expects him to take the minutes that opened when starting shooting guard Reggie Bullock was shipped to the Los Angeles Lakers in front of the trade deadline. Ellington joins a team that enters play on Sunday a half-game behind the Miami Heat for the No. 8 spot in the East and won its last three games by an average of 18.7 points. The Wizards sit two games behind the Pistons but come in hot as well with wins in back-to-back games. Washington, which brought in forwards Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker from Chicago prior to the deadline, used some inside scouting to skip past the Bulls 134-125 on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington-plus, FS Detroit LINE: Pistons -4.5
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (24-32): Parker fell out of the Chicago rotation before being dealt but is being given a prominent spot with Washington and collected 20 points, six assists and five rebounds in 35 minutes against his former team. "He's a playmaker," Wizards coach Scott Brooks told reporters of Parker. "We're lucky to have him. He does a lot of good things for us. We're going to use him as we have used him the last couple of games. We've been watching film on him and we feel like this is his best way to contribute to our team, being like a point-forward." Parker is leading a remade bench unit that also includes Portis and small forward Wesley Johnson, who came over in the deal that sent forward Markieff Morris away.
ABOUT THE PISTONS (25-29): Detroit leaned on All-Star forward Blake Griffin heavily most of the season but was up big enough that it was able to keep him under 30 minutes in two of the last three contests. "Beyond the wins, we've played with the right spirit and played the right way," Griffin told reporters after knocking off the New York Knicks 120-103 on Friday. "Basketball gods reward you when you play the right way. Being able to take the fourth quarter off has been really nice, especially at this time of the season." Griffin got plenty of help on Friday from center Andre Drummond, who collected 29 points on 12-of-15 shooting and 20 rebounds in the win.
1. Wizards SF Jeff Green (hip) left Saturday's game and is day-to-day.
2. Pistons PG Reggie Jackson is averaging 20.5 points and shooting 50 percent from beyond the arc over the last four games.
3. The teams split the first two meetings this season, with each protecting homecourt.
PREDICTION: Pistons 119, Wizards 117 Bet Now
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